NVIDIA HAS FILED a patent lawsuit in the US against Qualcomm and Samsung, alleging infringement of its graphics patents.
The devices affected include the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge, both of which were released on Monday at the IFA trade show in Berlin.
Also implicated are the Samsung Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note Pro. The lawsuit would see sales of all models banned in the US.
The patents relate to the graphic processing unit (GPU) technology that Nvidia pioneered and for which it claims to have 7,000 patents either issued or pending.
Nvidia said in a blog post, "We are asking the ITC to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm's Adreno, ARM's Mali or Imagination's PowerVR graphics architectures. We are also asking the Delaware court to award damages to us for the infringement of our patents."
It notes in the court documents that Nvidia doesn't consider itself the litigious type and has initiated no previous litigation despite its history of graphics pioneering.
However, the Wall Street Journal notes that in 2011 it settled out of court with Intel to the tune of $1.5bn over a five year period in settlement of patent claims.
British companies could also be caught in the crossfire, with both ARM Holdings and Imagination Technologies chip designs being scrutinised for infringing the same patents. Both companies license their graphics technology to Samsung.
It seemed like the patent wars were starting to die down after old adversories Samsung and Apple decided to limit their lawsuits to one country. However it appears that where the war over design ends, another based on chip technology begins. µ